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Stenotaphrum secundatum - (Walter) Kuntze

Common Name Buffalo Grass, St. Augustine Grass, St. Augustinegrass
Family Poaceae
USDA hardiness 7-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Found in a variety of habitats, most commonly on siliceous and calcareous sands near the sea[415 ].
Range S. America - Colombia; C. America - Honduras; Caribbean; southern N. America; tropical W. Africa.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Wet Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Stenotaphrum secundatum Buffalo Grass, St. Augustine Grass, St. Augustinegrass

Stenotaphrum secundatum Buffalo Grass, St. Augustine Grass, St. Augustinegrass
Forest & Kim Starr wikimedia.org


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Stenotaphrum secundatum, otherwise known as Buffalo Grass or St. Augustine?s Grass, is an evergreen, perennial grass that forms a thick sod. It is characterized by its dark green, broad, and flat blades. It is moderately tolerant to drought and can withstand flooding and waterlogged conditions. It is not edible and it has no medicinal uses. However, it is used in soil conservation as ground cover.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Stenotaphrum secundatum is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Diastemanthe platystachys Steud. Ischaemum secundatum Walter Rottboellia paleacea Steud. ex D?ll Rot

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: The plant has a role as pasture or a soil conservation groundcover under trees, or near the sea where salt spray damages other grasses[415 ]. The plant is very tolerant of regular mowing[415 ]. It grows very well under coconuts, is planted with hedgerows of Leucaena leucocephala on coastal coralline plains and can grow with twining and stoloniferous legumes[415 ]. Once established, it forms a dense sward that crowds out weeds[375 ].

Special Uses

Ground Cover

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of the lowland tropics to the warm temperate zone. It is found at elevations up to 800 metres in the tropics. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 18 - 30°c, but can tolerate 10 - 34°c[418 ]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -4°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at -1°c[418 ]. Diploid types are more tolerant of cold and frost than many tropical grasses. Triploid forms have poor cool season growth[415 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 800 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 300 - 3,300mm[418 ]. Succeeds in full sun and also tolerates quite considerable shade[415 ]. Found on a wide range of well or poorly drained soils, from sandy loams to light clays[415 ]. Found in infertile to moderately fertile soils. It has good tolerance of soil salinity (to 15 dS/cm) and of wind-borne salt from the sea[415 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7.5, tolerating - 8.5[418 ].While moderately drought tolerant, it prefers good moisture, and can also withstand temporary flooding and waterlogging[415 ]. There are some reports of the plant invading native habitats[305 ], but it has shown a low potential to become a problem[415 ]. Flowering Time: Blooms all year. Bloom Color: Inconspicuous/none. Spacing: Inconspicuous/none.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed -rarely produced[415 ]. The plant is normally propagated vegetatively because seed is not commercially available. To establish a good ground cover, use well-rooted sprigs or 7-10 cm plugs, planted 30cm apart in rows 60 - 70 cm apart[415 ]. The plant can also be established by broadcasting stolons or sprigs at 3.5 - 7 cubic metres per hectare and discing them into the soil and then rolling the ground[415 ]. The plants may take 5 - 6 months to form a complete cover, but establish faster under light to moderate shade[415 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

gramilla, gramillón, pasto colchón, pelote, st. augustine grass.

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, East Africa, Mozambique, North America, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Southern Africa, USA, West Africa.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

There are some reports of the plant invading native habitats[305 ],

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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(Walter) Kuntze

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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